Kanhaiya Kumar is a former President of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union. He is also a leader of the All India Students Federation (AISF), the student wing of the Communist Party of India (CPI). An interview with him was conducted by Siasat Daily’s Syed Ismail Zabiullah, whose excerpts translated by Afreen Pervez are as follows.
Kanhaiya Kumar speaks about educational institutes in India as they are being shut shown. He says “government aims at closing down of its educational institutes and wants to hand them over to private entities; to get rid of the responsibility of providing education to all citizens.”
People give taxes and government provides them, healthcare, education and transport but the government wants to privatise everything and be free from all its duties, Kanhaiya says. “You give your vote and choose a government, and it speaks about ‘one nation one tax’ but does not mention ‘one nation one education’. The government wants to reverse the slogan ‘Rashtriyapati ki ho ya chaprasi ki santaan, sabko Shiksha ek samaan,” he adds.
When asked about the protests in the institutes such as JNU and whether they are a misuse of taxpayers’ money, Kanhaiya says, “We all give taxes, and we get services from them. Institutes run on taxes so as the Parliament. We study on taxes and it is the responsibility of students to raise concerns that common man suffers.” Adding there is no wrong in speaking about the public welfare.
“In our country, Universities are being sold out, people belonging to specific communities are being targetted. Marginalised people in the country are bleeding, farmers are not getting their share and committing suicide. Whereas, members of Parliament get a pension and meals for Rs 15,” the former JNUSU president says.
Watch the interview here: